Study Guide

Filling Station Admiration

By Elizabeth Bishop

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Admiration

Do they live in the station? (14)

This extra curiosity is the beginning of admiration for the place. Why? Well, we think it's because there's a hint that the speaker recognizes that this place is more than just a grease trap. It could very well be a home.

Why the extraneous plant?
Why the taboret?
Why, oh why, the doily? (28-30)

The speaker can hardly believe this family cares enough to keep a plan in this dump. There's something admirable in that, right? The fact that these people still strive to make a spruced up home in this not-so awesome setting is an effort worth commending.

Somebody loves us all. (41)

Seeing all of these small details—this family trying to make a home out of a greasy, oily filling station—has really left a mark on our speaker. Perhaps she admires them for what she couldn't do—see a diamond in the rough.

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